Moscow Mechanism Invoked by 45 OSCE States to Review Reported Abuses by Russia
MARCH 3, 2022Share
With Ukraine’s agreement, the United States and 44 other countries have invoked the OSCE Moscow Mechanism. This action will establish an expert mission to address our grave concerns regarding the humanitarian and human rights impacts on the people of Ukraine caused by Russia’s further invasion with the support of Belarus. We have seen the troubling media reports of human rights abuses and violations of humanitarian law by Russia’s forces, including the mounting number of civilian casualties and extensive damage to civilian infrastructure. The OSCE expert mission will work impartially to establish the facts and circumstances surrounding possible contraventions of OSCE commitments and violations and abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by Russia’s forces. The expert mission will prepare a report that will be shared with all OSCE participating States and relevant accountability mechanisms, including national, regional, and international courts and tribunals. The United States and our partners will hold Russia and its forces accountable for all human rights abuses, violations of international humanitarian law, war crimes, and crimes against humanity they commit in Ukraine.
What is the Moscow Mechanism? The OSCE explains:
The Moscow Mechanism, adopted at the third stage of the Conference on the Human Dimension in 1991, complements and strengthens the Vienna Mechanism. It provides the option of sending missions of experts to assist participating States in the resolution of a particular question or problem relating to the human dimension.